Establishing Functional Biomarkers for Spaced Theta-Burst Stimulation

Trial ID or NCT#



not recruiting iconNOT RECRUITING


The investigators plan to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods to assess brain changes following spaced theta burst stimulation (TBS), a new form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), in 10 healthy participants. The investigators will measure the effects of both excitatory (intermittent, iTBS) and inhibitory (continuous, cTBS) TBS applied to the motor cortex, a system that when stimulated produces a readily observable behavioral response (e.g., movement of a given body regions). In addition to brain activity, we will assess the effects of TBS on motor responses and pain perception. The goal is to determine how brain activity and blood flow during tasks and at rest change following the applications of spaced cTBS and iTBS. Additionally, the aim is to determine the duration of the spaced TBS effects on brain activity and behavior. This study will provide an understanding of the functional brain and behavioral changes that occur following spaced TBS to the motor cortex and has implications for reducing the long treatment schedules associated with classical rTMS protocols.

Official Title

Establishing Functional Biomarkers for Spaced Theta-Burst Stimulation

Eligibility Criteria

Ages Eligible for Study: Older than 18 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: Yes
Inclusion Criteria:
  1. - Age 18 or older - Right-handed - Agree to having fMRI scan - Willingness to suspend use of analgesic drugs or cough suppressants for 24 hours prior to the scans - Proficiency in English sufficient to complete questionnaires/follow instructions during fMRI assessments - US Citizen or resident able to receive payment legally
Exclusion Criteria:
  1. - A medical condition that would contraindicate the use of rTMS - Any condition that would contraindicate MRI (like ferromagnetic metal in the body) - Pregnancy or breast feeding - Any significant neurologic disease, including dementia, multi-infarct dementia, Parkinson's or Huntington's disease, brain tumor, progressive supranuclear palsy, seizure disorder, subdural hematoma, multiple sclerosis, history of significant head trauma - Current antidepressant use (must be washed out for two weeks prior to starting protocol) - Inability to stop taking medication contraindicated with treatment


Nolan Williams
Nolan Williams
Deep brain stimulation specialist, Neuroimaging specialist, Psychiatrist
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories & Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator) and, by courtesy, of Radiology (Neuroimaging and Neurointervention)

Contact us to find out if this trial is right for you.


Romina Nejad, M.Sc